On the island in the Caribbean Sea known as Hispaniola sits the Dominican Republic; a nation of approximately 9.5 million people neighboured by Haiti to the west.
Data obtained from Puerta Plata weather station
The Dominican Republic forms part of the Greater Antilles group of islands which also includes Jamaica, Cuba and Puerto Rico among others, and is known for the beautiful beaches which are found in its many tourist hotspots.
The Republic was first settled during Christopher Columbus' historic voyage in 1492. The new capital, Santo Domingo, remains to this day the city with the longest continuous inhabitation in the whole of the continent of America; both North and South. Since that time, various opposing forces have seized power in the country - remaining that way until the latter part of the 20th century when it finally became autonomous. Sugarcane cultivation was an idea brought from Spain which has continued to benefit the economy to this day.
The country's four major mountain ranges are what divide the climate into different sets of conditions; the northern coast's three-month wet season between November and January is what makes it such an attractive tourism prospect during the other months. While the rest of the country benefits from a wet summer, it allows for the best travel prospects throughout the winter, spring and autumn, while the summer months are hurricane season across the Caribbean.
Fort San Felipe is a must-see for anyone interested in an historical angle to their trip. Built in 1577 to protect the city of Puerto Plata from marauders, today it serves as a museum offering visitors an insight into life on the island in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Meanwhile in Santo Domingo, The Three Eyes are a natural beauty spot comprised of three lakes hidden inside a limestone cave, home too many kinds of bats.
The number one sport in the Dominican Republic is baseball; the country supplies the most overseas players to the United States' Major League, and the sport is contested on a national level by many different clubs.
Last updated: 14 March 2014